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Great Whales


Minke whale

The two species of minke are the world's most hunted whales. Japan targets about 950 a year for its research programmes. Commercially, Norway issues quotas to hunt about 1,000 per year, while Icelandic boats catch about 50 per year. Greenland's Inuit hunters can take up to 212 for subsistence purposes.

Estimates of minke numbers for the Southern Hemisphere are currently under scientific review, but there are probably more than 450,000. There are more than 145,000 in the North Atlantic and about 25,000 in the western North Pacific.

Status: Antarctic minke (insufficient data to classify), common minke (least concern)

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